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Hardcover Do I Know You?: Living Through the End of a Parent's Life Book

ISBN: 1568362102

ISBN13: 9781568362106

Do I Know You?: Living Through the End of a Parent's Life

"Do I Know You?" is a clear-eyed account of one woman's neurological slide into advanced senility. Sorting through the telltale signs of Mary Solomon's evolving senescence - stale crackers in an otherwise empty refrigerator, once immaculate floors turned sticky, unpaid bills, forgetfulness, withdrawal - Bette Moskowitz has created an unforgettable portrait of an ordinary woman at the end of her life. That Mary Solomon is her mother makes the story...


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A most poignant account of caring for an aging parent.

Moskowitz has told the world her deeply personal story and in doing so, helps others to cope with the on-going loss of an aging parent. I am both a Geriatric Care Manager and the daughter of a mother who has Alzheimer's Disease. I found myself re-reading passages so I could remember them to share with my client's families. I also re-read parts to remind myself that I am not alone with the myriad of feelings that come with the role of caregiver. I intend to recommend that all of my clients' adult children read this book, it will give them great strength and comfort. Thanks Bette, for writing such a fine book!


Moskowitz has captured in searing,honest and yet revealing candor the most private emotions and responsibilities we face. She's done this with full intent and determination - and as such has captured a private and public domain within each of us. She allows us hallowed moments to reflect privately, and that helps us accept our next giant step. What she speaks about is real and demands our honest reflection. She allows us freedom to see our destiny. Her nobility gives us a chance to once again see ourselves.

A personal, emotional protrayal of Alzheimer's disease.

While different from my own, Bette Ann Moskowitz's personal story is quite familiar -- a story about the inexorable mental decline of one's Mother due to Alzheimer's disease.My mother has been experiencing a definite, accelerating decline for a few years now. Through tests, we've ruled out pretty much every other possible reason; she's certainly got Alzheimer's. This book has provided some comfort by showing me that I'm far from alone in this kind of experience. And it has helped me know what to expect in the months or years to come.

This is a book that needed to be written.

This is a book that needed to be written and Bette Ann Moskowitz wrote if from the gut. The subject matter, the aging of a parent, may not be on anyone's most favorite topic list, but the author deals with it in a straight-forward, positive and honest way. In fact, the reader cannot help but admire the intensity of her honesty, especially in examining her own feelings, describing her relationship with Mary Solomon, her mother, and questioning what she thinks her mother might be thinking and feeling, if anything at all. The situation may be sad, but the book is not. It is a courageous, compassionate and deeply moving story. I would wish it were possible that no one would ever have to go through what Mary has, but realistically, as people live longer, we might. And if we must, then I wish that we could all have as strong, as gentle, as loving an overseer of our care as Mary has with Bette. This is a book that reaffirms the existence and necessity of The Golen Rule. I highly recommend it to everyone who is able to read and understand its very important message.

A book of searing and almost unspeakable emotion

How do we cope with an aged and failing parent? How do we discern the beginning of the slide into senile dementia? Where do we find the strength and endurance to make the necessary decisions? Bette Ann Moskowitz's generosity in telling this intimate experience allows us to concentrate on her, her mother, and their journey together. Their experiences, reactions and emotions are not mine or yours. Her skill is such that we cannot help know it could be us, our parent, our child. And well it might! With advances in medicine many more of us will live to advanced age. Many will suffer senile dementia. Many will watch a parent experience this. Will your children? Will mine? This book is not a how-to book. You will not learn a thing about legal issues, financial concerns, or how to choose a residence. Moskowitz knows that information is out there. She brings us the as yet unspoken: the fears, doubts, triumphs, panics and, yes, joys of her experience. She writes with clarity and an ease that belies the turmoil of her mother's old age. She writes with an honesty never maudlin or self-pitying. She makes it possible -- and safe -- for us to preview our own emotions should we be faced with such an eventuality. The shifting balance of care-giver and care-receiver seems almost unnatural. It requires a profound adjustment of all we have ever known. Perhaps the only other book that tells of this with such tenderness and truth is 'Love You Forever' (Sheila McGraw, Firefly Books, 1995). Were I omnipotent I would mandate the reading of 'Do I Know You?' by all who are parents and all who have parents. In lieu of that, I have ordered a copy for each of my adult children. May we walk this path with the grace and courage of Bette Ann Moskowitz and Mary Solomon.
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